I was tickled to receive this book among a set of arcs from Bloomsbury and Walker this month. Partly I was excited because Carrie is my friend, and I'd never had a chance to read one of her books-- but I've also heard such wonderful things about her earlier work that I knew I could expect a great story. I was not disappointed.
I don't know whether Carrie has done novels involving magical worlds before now, but I can say with certainty after reading Need that she knows just what to do with those ideas. Her pixies mesh beautifully into the rural Maine landscape and culture... I felt surprised I hadn't realized they were there before.;o)
Fantasy elements aside, this is primarily a story about kids and family; about dealing with grief and acknowledging differences. The characters are well realized, and the lists of phobias work well as a structural element. The pixies are certainly evil here-- but they're a complicated evil, more like real life. You care about these characters-- there's so much love in this story. At the end, I was even a little sorry for the bad guys. (just a little)
All in all, I'd say this was a very satisfying read. But you don't need to take *my* word for it.
Go. Read. Enjoy!